Getting Into It

I’m starting to understand how it works, writing. I have followed some very good advice from “Becoming a Writer” by Dorothea Brande. This woman says a lot of stuff that makes a lot of sense. I am also reading a sort of writing course by Gotham Writer’s Workshop. It’s very useful. But when I say that I begin to understand how it works, I mean that I’m beginning to see just how important it is to have a routine. In the mornings when I wake up, I go directly to the computer. Yes, I pee, I find myself some crackers and a green tea, but I don’t speak to anyone. If I stay in bed, or go to have breakfast with someone, and then to write, nothing comes out! It’s like my brain is stuck! As long as I follow my routine, everything goes fine. Still, the “write every day” scheme is bound to fail sometimes. Yesterday, when I was travelling from Buenos Aires to Paris (it took about 22 hour to get from door to door), I didn’t write a single word. I was too tired. Afterwards I didn’t beat myself up over it, I just tried to restart again today. Didn’t work so well either, because of the jet lag, but there is always a day tomorrow. Very proud of this, as I have a lot of training when it comes to beating myself up over almost anything.

I haven’t been reading as much as I’d wanted to. There are so many things to see in Buenos Aires (not to speak of all the food I’ve been eating. The empanadas! And the pizza! And the asado! OMG, I feel like I’m bursting! Lovely…). I did finish a short Henry James novel called “The Spoils of Poynton”, which I liked moderately. It’s not a masterpiece, but I want to read everything he’s written. Next up: The Europeans. I also read “Corrections” by Franzen, which I ended up liking quite well in the end. I had difficulties with the first hundred pages or so (the Chip character, I just couldn’t get myself to find him interesting), and by the end I was almost crying. It was worth the while to stick with it. Not ready for his next one yet. I’m taking a long pause from Franzen. Also, I took Spanish lessons, and we are now speaking mostly Spanish at home. It’s great fun! I get tired of the French sometimes, and learning a new language is always an amazing process. My teacher gave me some Borges, Cortázar and Silvina Ocampo to read, so I have a lot of work in front of me. It’s not easy, that I can tell you. But fifteen years ago I found reading novels in English difficult as well, and now I almost fly through them. I’m trying Joyce Carol Oats now, Blonde, but I’m afraid it’ll depress me to much. Marilyn did not lead a happy life, and I’m not sure how much of her depression I can take. Still, I need to read JCO. I loved her “The Faith of A Writer: Life, Craft, Art” so much. Still, as I have said before, I have trouble digesting violence, and her stories tend to be violent. Well, well, there are enough books in the world, so I guess I could leave her darkest novels for the time being, and move on to something else. Have almost finished “The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain” by the neurologist Alice B. Flaherty. It’s quite a heavy read at times, but very fascinating. Good to read some non-fiction as well.

That’s all. It is no almost 5.30 am, and I have not slept at all during the night. Hoping to get back on the horse tomorrow, or at least sometimes this week. Jet lag is a drag! Good night, whoever is out there…

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